It was October, 2006 Josie had just started Kinder… We argued that morning because she didn’t do her reading homework the night before, but instead watched TV like most 6 year olds would do. At that time, I was working for AppleOne. I was gone 12-13 hour shifts sometimes, by the time that I got home, checking homework was the last thing that I wanted to do. Aside from choosing to spend my last 2 hours with the kids before they went to bed, I was tired!
That morning, I made her stuff her backpack with extra books so that she can read during recess- I know, mean mommy. We lived in Downey at the time, right next door the Calvary Chapel of Downey. I left for work by 6:30am just to get to work in Monterey Park by 7:30 a.m. Once again, like a normal Single Mom, had to leave the kids alone to fend for themselves with hopes that they’d make it to school ok. My brother (a traveling operations manager) just happened to be home that week. He was usually only home weekends, I needed the help and it didn’t make sense for him to pay for a full-time place, he lived with us just up to a few years ago and was a great help to me and the kids through the years.
Anyway, so within an hour of me getting to work, I got a call from my son. He was crying hysterically, “Mommy! Mommy! Josie was just run over by a van!!!” I can only imagine what my face looked like as my manager turned to look at me and asked if everything was ok. My son, still crying said, “Mommy did you hear me? I’m sorry; I promise I was watching her!” Still in shock-I just about fainted- a man gets on the phone and introduces himself. He was kind enough to let my son use his phone. He informed me that he really didn’t know what was going on, but the authorities have been informed, she is ok, but she’s probably in shock. Whah! Whah! Whah! Whah! Whah! Whah! Whah! If he had said anything else to me, I probably couldn’t tell you what it was considering now I went totally blank…
I fell up against my desk for a second and started to run out of my office, my manager-now in a panic- asked, “Is everything ok?” Half way out the door I ran back to my desk, because I forget my purse and, most importantly, my keys… I ran out, briefly explaining that I’d call her as soon as I knew anything. Oh My God! Oh My God! Oh My God… I was praying as I left the building. I called my brother whom was half asleep. “Hey I need you to wake up RIGHT NOW! Josie just got ran over, and she and Louis are at the corner. I don’t know what happened, just get there. He says ok, and then hangs up….
“That was odd,” I thought, but I didn’t dwell on it too long, more important thoughts flooded my head. “They hadn’t even made it across the street? Was my baby ok? I shouldn’t have been upset with her this morning. I shouldn’t have made her stuff her backpack…” My brother calls back, “DUDE, did you just call to tell me what I think you just said???” “Yes,” I responded, “now please go…”
“Oh my God! Oh My God!” he chanted as I heard him stumble out of bed. I assume that he ran out with his shoes in hand because it only took him two minutes to run out the door. He probably didn’t realize that he still had the phone to his ear. He then yells out, “I’ll call you as soon as I get there!”
Now, Im crying at this point, praying I don’t get pulled over for driving 80 mph in the shoulder lane on the 710 freeway. If anyone knows Los Angeles, the 710 is chief for having the worst industrial work traffic ever!
Still Crying, Praying… 20 minutes passed and he isn’t answering my calls… “What is going on?” I thought, “Is my baby ok. Is my son, who witnessed everything, ok? Can she walk? What kind of injuries does she have?”
I finally exit the freeway to find that traffic was jammed. At this point, I’m ready to jump out of my car, to run to the scene. My brother calls to tell me they made it to the hospital. He then goes on to explain how there were l 5 ambulances, 10 officers, and 3 fire trucks— Tells me that the woman, who ran her over, driving a mini van, was making a right at the light. She didn’t stop, going at least 15 miles per hour, slammed my baby to the floor. Her minivan submerged my daughter, even dragging her little body at least 2 feet, far enough to give her a good burn, right?…
I scream, “Is she OK???”
He says, “Yeah, all she has is a scratch on her hand and ½ inch scrape on her leg, but you should see her backpack though.”
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.